SS ANDREW KIM TAEGON & COMPANION, M. (Memorial) Red
During the 19th century, Andrew Kim Tae-gon was Korea’s first native priest, and the first priest to die for the faith in Korea. As leader of the community, Andrew was tortured and beheaded in 1846 at Seoul, Korea. Also martyred was Paul Chong Hasang, a layman, who was one of the founders of the Catholic Church in Korea. Hasang reunited the scattered Christians and encouraged them to keep their faith despite persecution. He died in the GiHae persecution of 1839 before he could be ordained. Three bishops and seven priests were also put to death together with heroic lay men and women, married and single of all ages. These martyrs were canonised by Pope John Paul II on May 6, 1984.
First Reading: 1Tim 3:14-16; Psalm: 111. R. v. 2a; Gospel: Lk 7:31-35
OPENNESS TO REPENTANCE
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
God’s call for repentance is always a loving appeal. God doesn’t exert force in his call for reconciliation. When God goes out in search of us to bring us back home, his love compels us but the freedom he gives us permits us to choose to respond to his love or not. God will never force us to repentance. But it hurts God to see that we choose the path to destruction when he offers us the way that leads to eternal life. Our sin becomes mortal if we knew that an action was sinful and went ahead to do it notwithstanding.
Jesus was pained and disappointed by the unreceptiveness of the Pharisees to his gospel message. “We piped to you, and you did not dance; we wailed, and you did not weep.” (Lk 7:32). This illustrates the obstinacy of these men. Their impassive attitude began way back from the time of their fathers who killed the prophets and rejected their teachings and prophecies. John the Baptist also came and they rejected him as well. Jesus came bringing the same message of repentance and salvation, and they also turned him down. They followed their own way in opposition to the salvation offered to them.
Inasmuch as God’s mercy is unlimited, we can also make it unreachable by our obstinate sinful attitudes. We must be wary lest we take God’s mercy for granted. When we know what is good and upright but consciously choose to ignore them; there is no way we can receive God’s forgiveness. Obstinacy in sin is deadly. We can take out time today from our busy schedules to reflect on how docile we are to God’s call for repentance. God will never give up on us as long as we live because he trusts that we will respond to his call for repentance. However, when we take this opportunity for granted, we choose the path to destruction. And it may be too late to turn back when our life suddenly begins to end.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, grant us the grace to be docile and receptive to your call for repentance. Amen.